We’re all familiar with the old adage No news is good news. Unfortunately, one of the few times that adage doesn’t hold true is during a job search. Radio silence after you’ve fired out a resume typically means that a recruiter has taken a pass on meeting with you. Of course, rejection happens to everybody. However, it’s time to take a hard look at how you’re conducting your job search if you’re receiving little or no response at all. Here are five of the most common reasons why you’re not being called in for a job interview.
- You didn’t proofread your resume and cover letter. First impressions are everything in a job search, and that means your resume and cover letter must be perfect when they land on a recruiter’s desk. Typos or misspellings will absolutely sink your efforts as a job candidate. There’s no question that the worst offense is submitting a cover letter addressed to the wrong person, or carrying the wrong company name. It’s a very easy mistake to make when you’re submitting several job applications each day. Slow down and give each cover letter and resume the attention it deserves.
- You’re only applying online. Applying for a job online is one way to obtain a job lead, but it is also an incredibly difficult way to obtain a job interview. You’re likely competing with hundreds – or potentially even thousands – of other job candidates. It’s a mistake to rely exclusively on job search engines for job leads. Reach out to everybody in your professional and personal networks to find an “in”. A recruiter will always select a job candidate forwarded by a personal contact over somebody that came in cold.
- You’re only applying to big companies. Expand your ideas about where to apply to include small and mid-size firms. Fortune 500 companies and larger firms can receive hundreds of resumes for just one position, and thousands over the course of the year. They may not even see your resume. Smaller companies attract smaller pools of potential candidates simply because they lack name recognition. It is much more likely that they’ll notice your resume when it comes their way.
- You’re aiming too high. We’d all like to believe there ain’t no mountain high enough to keep us from getting to our dream jobs, but sometimes the job you’re applying for is too much of a reach – at least, for now. Spend some time getting real about your current skill set. Consider having a heart-to-heart with a friend or colleague about where you should set your job seeking sights. If necessary, rewrite that resume – and yes, your cover letter too- and gently steer yourself back on track.
- You failed to customize your resume and cover letter. Earlier this year, we provided an in depth look at how critical it is to customize your resume and cover letter to secure a job interview. If you fail to customize your job application, it’s unlikely that you’ll even clear the computerized system used by companies to identify appropriate job candidates. Take the time to craft a cover letter and resume that make you look like the perfect candidate for each specific job. It will absolutely reduce the number of job applications you’re able to submit each day, but it will also drastically increase the response rate.